Life works in mysterious ways. Have you ever had serendipity bring you back to a particular place in time? Yesterday, as I thumbed through a magazine, a set of polka dot gloves, hat, and scarf caught my eye. I don’t know why but it brought back a memory of a polka dot dress I wore to a party when I was twelve years old. It was the last time I ever wore anything with polka dots.
Possible unpopular opinion: I really can’t stand polka dots!
First, let me start by telling you about the dress. It was dark navy taffeta with white circles of polka dots. It had a snug bodice and flared skirt. The form of the dress was quite lovely. Coupled with my patent leather strappy shoes, with their high varnish, I’ll admit a certain look was achieved. I managed to get through the evening, but barely! I did not enjoy standing out because of the polka dots in my dress. My mother bought me the dress even though I told her I did not like it. With perfect clarity, I recall saying, “I will never ever wear polka dots again in my entire life!” And I kept my word, dear reader!
HOW DOES A WOMAN ACQUIRE HER PERSONAL STYLE
Now I will discuss how a woman comes into her personal style. I love the words style and attitude. I don’t like the word fashion. Fashion fades, style and attitude are everlasting. How does a woman acquire outer and inner personality? How did you?
From my experience, there are a few ways to acquire personal style. As a young woman, she begins to notice how she feels wearing certain colors and styles. As she continues to mature she begins to choose her role models. They may be celebrities, friends, or family members. She also comes to understand her personal preferences.
Hopefully, she begins to learn at a young age that personality and character make up part of her style, too. In the end, it is all about attitude! That is only my opinion.
Style is not only the clothing and accessories a woman drapes over her body. Attitude and style is the story of a woman’s life.
STYLE AND ATTITUDE
My style and attitude can be summed up easily. Simplicity in my clothing with a flair of accessories. Be it my hair, my glasses, my jewelry, my shoes, etc. is at the heart of my outer style. My inner style borders on the eclectic; in other words, my ideas are broad and diverse yet grounded in old-fashioned values and traditions. Have you thought about yours?
As you can see, I abhor polka dots. They are matchy matchy, very cluttered and so boring. That is not my style and certainly not my attitude.
These two words are the tell-alls about a woman: Style and Attitude.
Style is your look. Your posture. Your poise. Attitude is your point of view, frame of mind, your inclinations. Your opinions, convictions, persuasions, beliefs. Attitude is what makes you tick!
At 12 years old my polka dot dress was a tragedy. It was too lavish. It made me stand out for the wrong reason. I remember as young as I was I would use my attitude to win out over ‘that dress!’
Ultimately, my outer style began to evolve the night I wore the polka dot dress! I knew what I did not like!
CHECK OUT MY LATEST REEL ON INSTAGRAM WHERE I SHARE MY LOVE OF A CERTAIN ACCESSORY!
MY DATE WITH STANTON BANKS
Next, I will tell you about a special night that I look on fondly. This time I wore a precious pink dress. Oh, how I loved the occasion and the dress. I was 13 years old, a young teenager from Kankakee by the Sea. By invitation, I was to be the date of Stanton Banks ( I still remember his name) at his Bar Mitzvah at the Mayflower Hotel in Chicago.
I was to sit at the head table next to Stanton and I was overwhelmed with excitement. Stanton and I met at my singing, dancing, and dramatic lessons. Every Saturday morning my mom or dad drove me to the train station in Kankakee by the Sea. The train took me to my classes in Chicago. I loved my classes and my independence. What I didn’t love? Stanton. Not at all! I liked him. Period.
My dress was not polka dots! It was a cotton cady light pink. The sleeves were short and low-waisted with a flair. It was simple yet yummy. That night I wore my strand of Add-A-Pearls. I felt like a princess.
MY STYLE EVOLVED
In the end, that evening I began to refine my outer style. I decided I would always dress simply because I felt happy and pretty. “It is always better to be slightly underdressed,” my mom always told me. She also told me I should marry a man who loved me just a little bit more than I loved him! Stanton certainly did!
She also told me on my wedding day, “There will be times you do not want to make love…do not ever turn your husband away!” I am smiling.
I recall that night my mom gave me my first spritz of her perfume. And, to this day, I never leave home without my trademark perfume, Baccarat 540.
MY FIRST STYLIST
My first stylist was my mother ( even though she insisted on ‘that polka dot dress’). What I admired at the age of 12 about my mother’s inner style and attitude was her personality and verve. She was fun. She was so curious and tried to do everything. As I would eat my cereal before school she sat next to me doing the crossword puzzle. That is just for starters. My mother had attitude. The only thing she did not do was own a business!
My mother’s outer style was eye-catching. Her clothes were made of beautiful fabrics and beautiful lines. I would describe them as simple yet exquisite. Her accessories were like none other. My mother was a grand teacher. As a result, she taught me quality over quantity. Her closet never overflowed.
Next, I will tell you about my second stylist — my Aunt Essie, my mother’s sister. They were as different as night and day which was lucky for me. She had the inner style and attitude I most adored. I am her clone. How lucky I am.
My Aunt Essie set the most beautiful table and accessorized it with her warmth and love. She cooked the most delicious foods, loved her family, and showered them with adoration, and gaiety. And Aunt Essie wrapped her arms around them to hold them together.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that opportunity today with a scattered family. But I can dream about what was and feel the feelings she left with me. She loved to shop, and she loved to laugh, and she always had time for those she loved. My aunt lives inside my soul. Her possessions and spirit are in every room of my home. She is with me.
DO I COPY THE STYLES OF OTHERS?
If you ask me, I would say that I don’t copy anyone’s style. By now I have reached the stage where I know who I am and what I want. Still, I want to create classics but I have chosen the woman I want to be. I think for myself. I know my outer style and the attitude I want it to convey.
At this point, I am very open to inviting interesting women of all ages into my life. I am a woman 50+ who is enamored with women who are empowered and enlightened. Women that have that certain style and attitude ‘inside’ their dress. They have panache and it has nothing to do with economics.
To sum it up, I am attracted to women who know who they are and what they want. Soulful women, artistic women, real women, women who appreciate nature and are mindful. I am not interested in boring women who have never grown into their potential.
I love women who take possession of their future. They are empowered women in some area of their lives. It can be pure kindness. That makes my heart sing. Oh, how I love their songs…
Do you recall when you understood your style? Please share with me in the comments!
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